With a Bang

Sydney, Australia, January 1st, 2018

I broke up with Kulas last night. I should have broken up with him months ago, but we kept finding our way back to each other to prolong our agony. For my part, I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t let him go. Standing at 5’4”, coming from a non-wealthy family, having grammar comparable to that of Walt’s1, smelling like his last shower was from the day before, he checked off none of the standards, the superficial ones, at least, for my ideal guy. He wasn’t even that great of a boyfriend either. I wasn’t allowed to tell him how I felt about him because he said he was still weird about the whole relationship thing after he got cheated on by a guy he went out with for a month. Every time I broke up with him, he got furious at my attempts to move on.

In a word, he was toxic, and I couldn’t let him go because I wanted to be that guy. That guy is not like the other guys. That guy is as beautiful as he is crazy. That guy is as deep as he is shallow. That guy is as kind as he is mean.2 That guy thought he was good enough for the toxic guy to stop being toxic.

That guy is stupid, and I no longer wanted to be him because after all this time, Kulas made me believe that I wasn’t good enough for him. Turns out, I was too good for him.

x x x

Even before I left for Australia a week before, I had already decided that I was breaking up with Kulas, and for real this time. No more giving him a seventh chance.3 I would be stupid not to take what he did before I left as a sign telling me, “Kulas is bad for you.” I couldn’t initiate the breakup conversation because the last thing he told me was to cool my head and go on vacation, and that we would talk when I got back to Manila in 2018. Then he blocked me on all social media. How mature.

With the thought of needing to break up with Kulas planted in my head, I resorted to my old ways and re-installed all of my dating apps to make sure I’d get at least one date while I was away. I made a lot of matches on Tinder, as I usually do when I’m abroad.4 Among them was Andrés, whom I was supposed to go out with on New Year’s Day, but apparently, he had an existential crisis and locked himself in his bedroom to drink alone.5 A number of guys also talked to me on Growlr. Among them was a Filipino who migrated to Sydney. He told me about this bathhouse where guys go to have sex. He described it as an orgy, but instead of everyone fucking around, guys would cruise for their prey and fuck in one of the private areas in the bathhouse.

I thought about going long and hard. Going meant that Kulas and I were over. I mean, we were already were, but it meant that this was me moving forward from that disaster site. It meant I could no longer listen to him saying sorry, to him trying to melt my heart to let him inside again, to accepting all of his excuses for the reasons I broke up with him, to give him a free pass for not doing whatever it was he was supposed to do to “save” our relationship. That was it, and that was what made me say yes to wanting to go to the orgy.6

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In Real Life

Hi. I’m the author of Life from the Closet.

As much as I fictionalize some of the details in my stories to make them more entertaining, they are still based on very real men whom I had equally real feelings for. I haven’t been writing for the past couple of months when I should have been writing because my relationship with the boy Kulas was based on ended at about the same time I last wrote about him, and it didn’t end amicably. It’s been a struggle to continue writing from where I last left off because that wasn’t the first breakup he and I went through. I tried to keep the relationship alive for seven more months after that first breakup, and it involved a lot of leaving and coming back in between. I eventually grew tired of it and decided to end it for good in December.

To continue writing our story, seven months’ worth of stories, feels like I am slapping myself in the face. It’s shoving down my throat the thought that I had made a huge mistake.

I’m currently restructuring the outline for the rest of this crazy and twisted story that I am hoping Netflix would pick up and turn into an original series because it gets crazier and more twisted from my last post. I need to stop writing about Kulas in the foreseeable future to distance myself from the negative experience it has been, but do know that I will get back to it when my heart feels better. After all, what we shared was as beautiful as it was ugly.

In light of that, I’m skipping the rest of series three and a good part of what I had planned for series four, and continue to tell my story—that with an orgy gone wrong, that with a new classmate who looked hauntingly familiar, and that with an Australian boy who may as well be the new Diego. It’s not the end after all.

xo xo

No. 35 | The Breakup, one

Events in this issue take place immediately after the events in A Prelude to Heartbreak, two

Manila, May 26th, 2017

“Good morning,” Kulas said, waking me up with a kiss.

“What time is it?” I asked, still groggy from my deep sleep, which was already interrupted by him for a 3 A.M. make-out/oral session.

“It’s six,” he said, “I should go, and you should get ready. You’re going to miss your flight.”

“Is it too late for breakfast?” I asked.

“Not really, but you should have it with Astrid,” he told me. Already dressed, he kissed me goodbye and left my bedroom before I could say okay.

Kulas was in a hurry to leave because he wasn’t supposed to sleep over in the first place. His mom had been calling him non-stop since last night because there was an earthquake while we were having dinner. He slept over on the excuse that there might be major aftershocks on his commute home, so it was best for him to accept a friend’s offer to let him stay the night for the sake of his safety. He also knew that I was flying to Davao that day on Astrid’s invitation. She moved there last January, today was the day for me to finally visit.

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No. 34 | A Prelude to Heartbreak, two

Events in this issue take place immediately after the events in A Prelude to Heartbreak, one

Pinto Art Museum, fourth week of May 2017

Finally getting out of that dreaded commuter van, I unstuck my balls from my thighs, which had been glued together for the last 40 minutes. I was looking at Kulas with a sour face, as if to tell him, “look what you made me do.” There was still a tricycle ride up to the museum, but at the very least, with just me, Kulas, and the driver, it wouldn’t be as crowded. It started raining when we made our way to the entrance, and neither of us had an umbrella. Great.

Remembering what Diego and Audrey told me, I was suddenly pressed with guilt. Kulas wasn’t in control of what I was whining about, and neither was I. He wasn’t complaining about how I smelled. If he thought I did, he was polite enough not to tell me about it. Besides, the Pinto Art Museum looked magical, its magic enhanced only by the drizzle. No wonder Kulas wanted to take me there. Regardless of how special the museum was to him, it was an amazing place. Its seclusion and its quiet, somber, demeanor was a welcome change from our dates in the busy city. The art wasn’t corny. There weren’t too many people, too, which meant I could be sweet with my boyfriend.

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No. 33 | A Prelude to Heartbreak, one

Batangas, third week of May 2017

Kulas and I immediately made up the morning after our first fight. Over the course of that same weekend, he called me to comfort me when I told him that I was crying. I was crying because I watched the livestream of the new fireworks show at Disney World, and it made me emotional. It was so shallow, yet he didn’t make fun of me for it. The phone call ended with me smiling and saying yes to his invitation to go to the Pinto Art Museum the upcoming Thursday.

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No. 32 | The Good Fight

Batangas, third week of May 2017

For the first time, in a long time (For the first time is probably enough), I was dating someone I didn’t have to play games with. It was so easy to be his boyfriend. I felt secure being with him. I wasn’t scared to tell him goodbye because I was assured that we would see each other again. I hate comparing our relationship with my relationship with Walt, but what Kulas and I were doing felt infinitely better—it felt right, like the both of us were really into it. Here was a boy who finally treated me like his boyfriend, not just some guy he could call when he’s feeling horny and leave behind when he’s satisfied. For once, my emotional fulfillment mattered to someone, and he made sure that that would be satisfied, and then some.

Then the realities of the world came crashing down.

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No. 31 | Queen Bee

Manila, second week of May 2017

If this were a TV show, consider this the season three premiere, and in this part would be a montage of me and Kulas doing boyfriend things, including but not limited to the following cutscenes: Kulas and I sharing an umbrella on a rainy day in the city, Kulas and I feeding each other stale hash browns at Tim Horton’s, Kulas and I sipping each other’s iced coffees that came with the stale hash browns at Tim Horton’s, Kulas and I holding hands under my jacket in an Uber on the way back to my place from Tim Horton’s, Kulas and I cuddling in bed while watching a movie, Kulas and I making out behind the ruins of Fort Santiago in Intramuros, and Kulas and I sharing bing su at the Korean place down my street.1 Everything felt good, and let me tell you know, that this issue will not end in heartbreak, not for me at least.

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